Windows 95 released 17 years ago today

Windows 95 was arguably make or break for Microsoft, and today we celebrate the date in which it was released seventeen years ago.

The iconic clouds startup screen.

Seventeen years ago today Windows 95 was released to the public to major fanfare and success, this success also brought an antitrust case against Microsoft for bundling Internet Explorer 4.0 with a later service release of Windows 95.

Windows 95 integrated Microsoft's formerly separate MS-DOS and Windows products. It featured significant improvements over its predecessor, Windows 3.1, most notably in the graphical user interface (GUI) and in its relatively simplified "plug-n-play" features. There were also major changes made at lower levels of the operating system, such as moving from a mainly 16-bit architecture to a pre-emptively multitasked 32-bit architecture.

Welcome indeed.

In the marketplace, Windows 95 was a major success, and shortly became the most popular desktop operating system. It was also suggested it had the effect of driving other major players (including OS/2) out of business, something which would later be used in court against Microsoft.

Depending on how you look at it, there were six major updates to Windows 95 between 1996 and 1997 which included both Service Packs and Service Releases, this excludes the Windows 95 Plus! Pack that was released on the same day as Windows 95. 

Three years later Windows 98 succeeded it; but I think we can all agree that Windows 95 started a PC revolution, and for that we can be thankful --or not, depending on which way you swing.

Windows 95 is unsupported as of December 31, 2001, but anyway;

Happy Birthday Windows 95!

Reference & Images: Wikipedia
Thanks for the tip MtnCodeDrewFreak in our forums!

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my first pc to run windows 95 was an amd 5x86 x5 133mhz p-75 clone =] 8meg ram 1.7gig quantum fireball with an s3virge =] ahh the good ole days

Septimus said,
Still more functional than Windows 8.

In what way?
One of the things I don't miss about Windows 95 is the constant BSOD's. It crashed often, just simplest installation of a program could damage config files. Not to mention viruses, in pre-Internet ubiquity days, viruses use to wreak havoc on it. Another problem was the regular need to reboot at least a few times per day and need to always defrag the disk. So next time you say Windows 8 is not functional, first, make sure you actually used both operating systems.

Septimus said,
Still more functional than Windows 8.

Yes. However, let's not get carried away trying to compare two different Operating System philosophies. Windows-8 is a totally different OS from the long line that currently ends with Windows-7.

Mr. Dee said,

In what way?
One of the things I don't miss about Windows 95 is the constant BSOD's. It crashed often, just simplest installation of a program could damage config files. Not to mention viruses, in pre-Internet ubiquity days, viruses use to wreak havoc on it. Another problem was the regular need to reboot at least a few times per day and need to always defrag the disk. So next time you say Windows 8 is not functional, first, make sure you actually used both operating systems.

Well at the time "Norton" was still owned by Peter Norton and the AV was great, I used it and never got a virus; BSOD? Yes I got them but surely not so often and I did not to reboot several times a day......
Maybe you had hardware issues...... And yes I remember DOS and DRDos too....

TsarNikky said,

Yes. However, let's not get carried away trying to compare two different Operating System philosophies. Windows-8 is a totally different OS from the long line that currently ends with Windows-7.

Windows 8 (kernel 6.2) is not a totally different OS, it still uses the same NT kernel as previous operating systems. It has a new default UI called the Start Scree and the classic desktop app which runs the same applications that run on Windows 7 (kernel 6.1) and Vista (kernel 6.0) today.

Fritzly said,

Well at the time "Norton" was still owned by Peter Norton and the AV was great, I used it and never got a virus; BSOD? Yes I got them but surely not so often and I did not to reboot several times a day......
Maybe you had hardware issues...... And yes I remember DOS and DRDos too....

Nothing wrong with the hardware at all because I rant Windows NT 4.0 Workstation on the same hardware for years, it even ran Windows 2000 Professional for a little while without any problems, rarely rebooted. Norton had been bought by Symantec early in the 90's, Perter was just a mascot.

I upgraded to Windows 95 from Windows 3.11 /w PC Tools 4.0
I felt it was a let down as PC Tools was much more powerful it terms of usability. Actually, I still use Win311+PCTools in a VBox virtual machine... just for fun

Also, I remember "dropping" to the MS-DOS prompt quite often as many of the things I did were simply faster and easier to perform using the command line. It took me some time to get used to it.

But, nonetheless it was definitely a tremendous step forward in the right direction and I guess it "saved" Microsoft.

Windows 95 was my first OS on my first computer:

-Pentium 200Mhz
-64MB Ram
-800MB HDD
-Trindent VGA Card
-SoundBlaster 16

It ROCKED!!!
...and also crashed like HELL!
HBD Windows 95!

Windows 95 was my shortest lived OS. After years of DOS, Windows 3.0 and 3.1 on an old beat up 386 I finally got my first new computer and it came with Windows 95. The thing was I bought it at the end of 1997 and it came with a free upgrade voucher to Windows 98. For what little time I used it though it was amazing, especially on my monstrous Pentium II 266 system with 64MB of RAM.

We mainly used Win 3.1 at my high school school, complete with a DOS-based Novell network login, and I remember how much more streamlined and useful Win95 was when I got permission to install it on some of our 486s. I was so happy to be free of that horrid Win 3.1.

Remember it was a pretty big deal, lots of excitement. Thought 98SE was the best of the 9x kernel OS's. Miss it in a nostalgic sort of way.

MtnDewCodeRedFreak said,
I rememeber using Win95 C on the school computers. Teacher would get ****ed whenever I'd play FreeCell or Solitaire on it, lol.

My own too, geez, I nobody should ever go near her NT 4 server. To this day her voice saying 'Save and Exit' is stuck in my brain.

One thing I will say, even on older hardware it installed fast and just felt faster. Windows 8 is the first OS in years that I see bringing back some of those good old days when the OS was just fast at certain routines (install, boot up).

I'm nostalgic of the 9x series... until I remember just how buggy and crash prone they were.

9x was a stack of cards balanced on DOS. MS-DOS was basically the real "OS", and Windows 95/98 sort of like a really complex window manager, like a combination of X and KDE, running on top.

When I ran Windows 2000 beta for the first time in the summer of 1999, I never turned back.

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